IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Happy Birthday, ANWR!; Go to hell, Sen. Inhofe!; You knew it had to be there: the WikiLeaks documents on last year's UN climate summit in Copenhagen ...PLUS: Stop-n-start in high stakes negotiations at this year's UN climate summit in Cancun, as climate science predictions come true around the world ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Einstein's Fridge: it runs on heat; World running out of new places to fish; Massey's controverial coal baron to retire; USDA removes major barrier to school salad-bar initiative; How some politicians stumble on science; Can wild rice halt mining in Minnesota?; BP: Gulf oyster biz still plagued by BP oil spill; Lobbyists buy big seat at the table of food safety legislation; New developments in harnessing tidal power; 5 Lessons From Haiti's Disaster ... PLUS: Yummy!: Why is flame retardant in your butter? ....
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Senator Inhofe: 'I Was Right and They Were Wrong':
- NY Times reposts Inhofe’s gleeful disinformation — with no balance at all (Climate Progress)
- VIDEO: Senator Inhofe: 'I Was Right and They Were Wrong' (NYT Green)
- Fighting back: Scientists fight Inhofe attack on climate fund (Grist):
Inhofe, Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), David Vitter (R-La.), and George Voinovich (R-Ohio) wrote a letter to President Barack Obama telling him to drop an international adaptation fund for the least developed nations --- part of the Copenhagen Accord signed last year by Obama and over 130 other nations.
- Happy 50th Birthday, ANWR!:
- The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Main Page (US Fish & Wildlife Service)
- Battle over ANWR is heating up again:
OIL: Designation as wilderness or national monument would prevent future development (Anchorage Daily News)
- National monument status sought for ANWR on 50th: Move would keep oil-rich plain out of industry's reach. (Anchorage Daily News):
President Barack Obama is being urged to bestow national monument status on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for its 50th anniversary in what supporters say would finally put the refuge's coastal plain beyond the reach of oil companies.
They want the country's largest and most untamed refuge to join the likes of the Statue of Liberty in New York, the Giant Sequoia groves of California, the Sonoran Desert in Arizona and George Washington's birthplace in Virginia.
National monument status could put an estimated 11 billion barrels of recoverable oil beyond the grasp of oil companies forever.
- Senators object to Arctic refuge wilderness review: Alaska's U.S. senators say the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has no business conducting reviews of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to see if more areas should be designated as wilderness. (Anchorage Daily News)
- Upton calls on Obama not to permanently ban ANWR drilling (The Hill)
- Developments at the Climate Summit in Cancun:
- News From Cancun: High Stakes, Glimmers Of Hope (Wonk Room)
- US Climate Envoy Todd Stern: "I'm Not Sure We Will Actually Get It" (Kate Sheppard, Mother Jones):
There's draft text on the table here in Cancun, but will there be a meaningful outcome? It remains far from clear. On Monday, US climate envoy Todd Stern didn't exactly express confidence on that front. "I think there is an agreement to be had," he said. "I'm not sure we will actually get it."
Specifically, the US is intent on hashing out details for transparency on emissions reductions, which has been a key sticking point with China, and has argued that it doesn't believe components like a global fund to help poor countries cut emissions and adapt to climate change can move forward without that. "A balanced package," said Stern, "doesn't mean a great deal of detail on some issues and a 50,000-foot level of detail on others."
Transparency measures would be designed to ensure that countries are following through on their emission pledges-but exactly what it would look like is a hot topic here.
- The U.S. Role in International Climate Finance: A Blueprint for Near-Term Leadership (Center for American Progress)
- A Low Bar in Cancun? Not for US, Envoy Declares (NYT Green):
Todd Stern, the chief American climate change negotiator, ... made clear at an afternoon press briefing that the United States was seeking an agreement that addresses all the major issues that make up the current climate change agenda. He said quite emphatically that he was not interested in some sort of face-saving partial deal that makes progress on some questions but kicks the more difficult problems down the road.
- Beyond Cancun: What's the Future of Climate Policy? (NPR)
- EU to Help China Set Up Carbon Trading Project as Climate Summit Falters (Bloomberg)
- China Says Can Make Voluntary CO2 Curbs 'Binding' (Reuters)
- Climate Offer From Beijing Spurs Talks (Sydney Morning Herald)
- World Bank makes a play for climate finance role: A group of multilateral development banks - including the World Bank Group - made the case for their role in managing climate finance. (Climate Progress)
- UN Talks to Delay CO2 Market Deal for Forests (Reuters via Planet Ark):
The European Union wants to delay a deal to use carbon markets to reward countries which protect their tropical forests, beyond U.N.
climate talks in Cancun, said EU climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard. Meanwhile, China's apparent offer to make its CO2 cuts "binding" may signal an advance in the talks.
- Has Japan killed the Kyoto Protocol? Does it matter? (Climate Progress):
Japan announced last week that it would not sign on for a second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol after the first period expires in 2012 unless China and the U.S. join the agreement. Environmentalists and developing countries condemn the Japanese, but can we really blame them?
- Climate talks must heed business, set binding caps (Reuters)
- Brazil, UK Asked To Help End Kyoto Climate Rifts (Reuters)
- Pacific Island Nations: At Climate Summit, They're Feeling Like Deserted Islands (LA Times)
- Richard Branson calls for global carbon taxes: (Guardian UK) [emphasis added]:
Branson said that Virgin planes could fly on biofuels within three to five years.
Carbon War Room, the non-profit business group co-founded by Branson, aims to find ways for business to reduce emissions in 17 industries by one billion tonnes of CO2 each. After shipping, the group intends to generate ideas and seed money to reduce emissions in the IT industry, as well as islands and aviation.
Yesterday the group officially launched a website, shippingefficiency.org, which shows the carbon intensity of the world's 60,000 largest ships, allowing import and export companies to choose between sending goods in clean or dirty ships.
- ...While Climate Science Predictions Come True: Record-breaking Extreme Weather Events Accumulate Around the World:
- As climate talks plod along, the world burns: The building heat trapped by billions of tons of fossil fuel pollution is fueling catastrophic changes in the world's climate system predicted years ago by scientists (Grist)
- Wildfire in Israel linked to delay of winter rains due to climate change (Climate Signals)
- Israel Warned of Wildfire Danger Due to Climate Change in 2000 (UNFCC Report, October 2000)
- Analysis: Pakistan floods, Russia heat fit climate trend (Reuters)
- Bill McKibben: There's No Longer A Happy Ending Where We Prevent Climate Change Anymore (Treehugger)
- Is the End in Sight for The World’s Coral Reefs?: It is a difficult idea to fathom. But the science is clear: Unless we change the way we live, the Earth's coral reefs will be utterly destroyed within our children's lifetimes. (Yale 360)
- Rise in flood claims tied to climate change: 'For most of the country, the infrastructure is not built for the climate that we are now starting to see.' (Canadian Broadcasting Co.)
- Mayan Village in Mexico Impacted by Climate Change (AP)
- Climate Change Fans Deep-burning Fires in Alaska (Reuters)
- Alaska Acknowledged Effects of Climate Change (AP)
- Arctic Death Spiral 2010: Navy's oceanographer tells Congress, "the volume of ice as of last September has never been lower…in the last several thousand years": Disinformers get it very wrong and Inaccuweather's Bastardi absurdly asserts sea ice trend is "leveling off and will turn the other way" (Climate Progress)
- The Wikileaks Angle: Diplomatic Cables Detail US Pressure From Copenhagen to Cancun:
- US envoy rejects suggestion that America bribed countries to sign up to the Copenhagen Accord: Speaking at the Cancún climate change talks, Todd Stern said countries asking for aid are in no position to accuse the US of bribery (Guardian UK) [emphasis added]:
The US climate envoy has reacted angrily to suggestions that America used strong-arm tactics and bribery to force countries to sign up to the voluntary agreement that came out of last year's Copenhagen climate summit.
[U.S. Envoy Todd] Stern added: "We can eliminate any cause or accusation of bribery by eliminating any money."
- WikiLeaks cables reveal how US manipulated climate accord:
Embassy dispatches show America used spying, threats and promises of aid to get support for Copenhagen accord (Guardian UK)
- WikiLeaks cables: Cancún climate talks doomed to fail, says EU president: Herman van Rompuy dismisses Copenhagen climate summit as 'incredible disaster' and expects Cancún to be no better (Guardian UK)
- DIPLOMATIC SECURITY DAILY 2009-06-19, Dept. of State (Wikileaks) [emphasis added]:
On June 1, CTAD,s Technical Analysis/Special Operations monitoring detected a malicious e-mail massage targeting five DoS individuals employed within the Division of Ocean Affairs, Office of the Special Envoy for Climate Change. The socially engineered message had the subject line &China and Climate Change8 and was spoofed to appear as if it were from a legitimate international economics columnist at the National Journal.
- COP16: The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Cancun, Mexico:
- The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change; Watch the Proceedings Live HERE Via Streaming Video (UNFCCC):
The United Nations Climate Change Conference is taking place in Cancun, Mexico, from 29 November to 10 December 2010. It encompasses the sixteenth Conference of the Parties (COP) and the sixth Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP), as well as the thirty-third sessions of both the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) and the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA), and the fifteenth session of the AWG-KP and thirteenth session of the AWG-LCA.
- LIVE BLOGGING the Cancún climate summit:
Follow live updates from the Cancún climate change conference as thousands of officials, campaigners and activists join world leaders for the start of two weeks of crucial talks (Guardian UK)
- FOLLOW the proceedings on TWITTER: #COP16
- Follow KATE SHEPPARD, "Live Tweeting" the UNFCC Conference in Cancun
- INTERACTIVE GRAPHS!: Cancún: The crucial climate data:
Find out how the key countries compare, from carbon emissions to climate aid. Source for climate aid pledges: WRI (Guardian UK)
- Greenpeace: Calculate the Cost of Inaction on Climate Change at CostsOfClimateChange.org (Greenpeace)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Einstein Invented A Fridge That Runs On Heat, Had No Moving Parts (Treehugger):
[A]bsorption refrigerators ... are common in off-grid situations and because they run on heat, they are possibly key to the holy grail of solar powered air conditioning. Jennifer Ouellette explains on io9 that Albert Einstein and Leo Szilard developed and patented an absorption fridge from 1928 to 1933, eventually getting 45 separate patents for three different models.
- World Running Out of New Places to Fish: Study (PLoS ONE, via Planet Ark):
The world's fishing industry is fast running out of new ocean fishing grounds to exploit as it depletes existing areas through unsustainable harvesting practices, according to a study published Thursday.
Expansion into unexploited fishing grounds allowed global catches to increase for decades, and disguised the fact that older areas were being depleted, according researchers at the University of British Columbia and National Geographic.
"We knew the expansion was going on, but this is the first time we have quantified it," said Daniel Pauly, a scientist at the Vancouver-based university who co-authored the report published in the online journal PLoS ONE.
- Massey's Blankenship to retire Dec. 31: Decision comes amid rumors that coal giant will be sold (Charleston Gazette):
Don Blankenship, the outspoken and controversial CEO of Massey Energy, will retire effective Dec. 31, the company announced late Friday.
The move comes amid persistent rumors that Richmond, Va.-based Massey will be sold to another mining firm, and as the company struggles to recover from the Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster in April, which killed 29 workers and was the worst U.S. mining disaster in more than 40 years.
- Getting fresh in schools: USDA removes major barrier to Michelle Obama's salad-bar initiative (Grist):
First Lady Michelle Obama announced last week that a new public-private partnership, Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools, would make it possible for as many as 6,000 salad bars to be installed in U.S. school cafeterias at an estimated cost of $15 million. Contrary to what hundreds of irate commenters directed to Grist from a link by the Drudge Report feared, the salad bars will not be mandatory lunchtime eating for the nation's youngsters, not taxpayer-funded. If parents like Sarah Palin want their kids to eat cookies for lunch, no one is going to stop them.
- How some politicians stumble on science (USA Today) [emphasis added]:
[T]hese studies are actually something much different than the complaints would suggest.
Smith's district, interestingly enough, has received more than $5 billion in corn subsides since 1995, according to Agriculture Department data, enough taxpayer-handout money to fund nearly a whole year of National Science Foundation grants. By his taxpayer accounting, that's 500,000 families working all year long to hand out their money to farmers who saw corn prices reach about $7.88 a bushel in 2008, and who have enjoyed an ethanol boom, another federal handout, in the most recent of those years.
- Minnesota Mining Debate Flows Into the Wild Rice Stands: (Minneapolis Star Tribune):
In the fight over proposed mining projects in northern Minnesota, a new player with a surprising amount of clout has emerged --- wild rice.
- Oyster Businesses Still Plagued by Gulf Oil Spill: (NPR):
Many workers in Louisiana's seafood industry have returned to work months after the BP Gulf oil spill --- but oystermen whose families have been in the business for generations are still unable to harvest oysters.
- Tidal Energy Tests the Waters (Daily Climate):
A nascent technology, tidal power is destined to remain a niche player in the United States' energy portfolio. But the low-carbon energy source has one advantage over wind and solar: It's as dependable as the moon's phases. Investors and public utilities are taking notice."
- For Food Safety Overhaul, Lobbyists Rushed to the Table (Washington Post):
The overhaul of food safety laws recently passed by the Senate had the support of business interests, consumer groups and lawmakers from both parties, but the bipartisan legislation still generated plenty of work along the K Street corridor.
- 5 Lessons From Haiti's Disaster:: What the earthquake taught us about foreign aid. (Foreign Policy Magazine):
Haiti has 9.8 million people, and at least half were unemployed even before the earthquake. If we focused our efforts on the singular task of getting them jobs --- even if we did nothing else --- Haiti's reconstruction could be a success.
- What's Flame Retardant Doing in Your Butter? (Philadelphia Inquirer):
At the same time that you're buttering your morning toast, you also may be slathering it with the tiny amounts of the flame retardant PBDE.
- Tidal Energy Tests the Waters (Daily Climate):
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